352p. ebook available. Scholastic. Mar. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545812504.
Gr 7 Up—Nikki is her father's daughter. Just like her dad, Nathan "The Broker" Tate, she is focused, strong-willed, and one of the very best poker players in Las Vegas, a city filled with pros. But when Nathan, recently released from death row for a murder he says he didn't commit, is murdered himself, Nikki has to summon all of her inner resources to find out what really happened to her dad. Why was he so obsessed with the new grand casino in town? What is his connection with its infamous owner, "Big" Bert Carlino? And what really happened the night that landed her father in jail? Learning the answers might be a gamble that could cost Nikki her life. The latest book from Edgar Award finalist Giles is just as fast-paced and suspenseful as his previous titles. All of the characters in the diverse cast are well defined and authentic. Those characterizations, and the believable ways in which Nikki interacts with everyone around her, are the novel's greatest strengths. The mystery never feels forced and seems to flow naturally, gaining momentum as Nikki peels away each layer until everything is ultimately revealed. One slight quibble: some of the poker descriptions don't seem accurate, but these would likely be caught only by someone with poker experience and won't derail the story.
VERDICT A fast-paced, compelling mystery and memorable characters and relationships make this selection a first choice for most YA collections.

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